The United States of War Criminals

People from poorer places and poorer countries have to call upon their compassion not to be angry with ordinary people in America.
— Arundhati Roy

More than half (53.3%) of US tax dollars go to a criminal enterprise known as the US Department of Defense (sic), a.k.a. the worst polluter on the planet. We hear about tax cuts this and budget that and all kinds of other bullshit from the US government and the corporations that own it…but the reality remains: Roughly one million tax dollars per minute are spent to fund the largest military machine (read: global terrorist operation) the world has ever known.

What do we get for all that money? To follow, is but one tiny example that mostly slipped through the cracks earlier this year.

On July 23, 2010, Tom Eley at Global Research wrote:

“According to the authors of a new study, ‘Cancer, Infant Mortality and Birth Sex-Ratio in Fallujah, Iraq 2005–2009,’ the people of Fallujah are experiencing higher rates of cancer, leukemia, infant mortality, and sexual mutations than those recorded among survivors in Hiroshima and Nagasaki in the years after those Japanese cities were incinerated by US atomic bomb strikes in 1945.”

For those unfamiliar with the US attacks on Fallujah, first of all: You should be fuckin’ ashamed of yourselves. Secondly, here’s Patrick Cockburn’s basic description:

US Marines first besieged and bombarded Fallujah, 30 miles west of Baghdad, in April 2004 after four employees of the American security company Blackwater were killed and their bodies burned. After an eight-month stand-off, the Marines stormed the city in November using artillery and aerial bombing against rebel positions. US forces later admitted that they had employed white phosphorus as well as other munitions. In the assault US commanders largely treated Fallujah as a free-fire zone to try to reduce casualties among their own troops. British officers were appalled by the lack of concern for civilian casualties.

Of crucial importance is this: A high proportion of the weaponry used by the US in the assault contained depleted uranium (DU).

And you and I paid for it all.

The aforementioned study found that the cancer rate “had increased fourfold since before the US attack” and that the forms of cancer in Fallujah are “similar to those found among the Hiroshima and Nagasaki atomic bomb survivors, who were exposed to intense fallout radiation.”

Hiroshima and Nagasaki? Yeah, Americans paid for those bombs, too.

In September 2009, Fallujah General Hospital had 170 newborn babies:

• 24 percent were dead within the first seven days
• 75 percent of the dead babies were classified as deformed

Cockburn writes of a “12-fold increase in childhood cancer in under-14s. Infant mortality in the city is more than four times higher than in neighboring Jordan and eight times higher than in Kuwait.”

Dig this: After 2005, thanks to this “major mutagenic event” (DU), the proportion of girls born in Fallujah has increased sharply likely because “girls have a redundant X-chromosome and can therefore absorb the loss of one chromosome through genetic damage,” explains Eley.

And you and I paid for it all.

“The impact of war on civilians was more severe in Fallujah than anywhere else in Iraq because the city continued to be blockaded and cut off from the rest of the country long after 2004,” adds Cockburn.

While I could go on with the gory details, I’d much rather you ask a few questions:

• Now that you know these facts (and they are just the tiniest proverbial tip of a massive proverbial iceberg), how do you feel and what are you going to do about it?
• Is it time you stop buying military video games, hanging yellow ribbons, and allowing our hard-earned money to finance mass murder?
• Can enjoy “the holidays” while women in Fallujah are petrified to have children?
• Are you still able to insulate yourself with all those cute puppy videos on YouTube?
• Are you ready to stop believing there’s a difference between the two wings of the same corporate/military party and start accepting that they’re all accessories to heinous crimes?
• Will you still “support” the volunteer mercenaries as “heroes” or will you recognize them as willing—and paid—accomplices to war crimes?
• Are you okay with 85.1% of US wealth being owned by the top 20% while 53.3% of your tax dollars subsidize atrocities, torture, oppression, occupation, and the literal destruction of the planet’s eco-system?
• What is your threshold? Which taxpayer-funded horror story is the one that will finally make you scream “enough”?
• When you’ve screamed “enough,” what can/will you do and how soon will you start doing it?

You don’t have to tell me your answers. I’m a co-conspirator just like you.

Save your answers for the children of Fallujah. I’m sure they’re wondering why the fuck we all choose to remain silent and inactive.

Mickey Z. is the author of 11 books, most recently the novel Darker Shade of Green. Until the laws are changed or the power runs out, he can be found on an obscure website called Facebook. Read other articles by Mickey.

42 comments on this article so far ...

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  1. shabnam said on December 15th, 2010 at 8:23am #

    Please condemn Obama’s policy of terror and killing against the Iranian people.

    The war criminals struck again in Iran and killed more than 39 people, including children and women, in the province of Sistan and Baluchistan. I am sure the Zionist wh*re, Hillary rotten Clinton will “condemn the terrorist act” but continue funding terrorist act against Iranian people. Down with axis of evil, Israel –US –Britain, who is behind terrorism in the world.
    Down with stooges of Zionism, Barak Obama a liar, who on the one hand says we want to negotiate with Iran and on the other hand he intensifies destabilization of Iran supporting and funding terror against innocent Iranian children, men, women, nuclear scientists, simultaneously. You, the black stooge, are nothing but a war criminal and your days at the wh*re house are numbered. The Iranian people never trust an evil empire. Shame on America and shame on Americans who are supporting killing of millions of people with their tax money and their silence. The majority of people around the world have demonstrated against the evil empire’s policies by pouring into the street and set fire around the city to send a strong message except ignorant Americans.

    {http://www.presstv.ir/detail/155541.html}

    According to medics, at least 39 people, including women and children, have been killed and many more wounded in the attack which occurred at the Imam Hussein mosque in Chabahar on Wednesday when Iranians were attending the religious Tasua ceremony.

    Anti-Iran terrorist group Jundallah has claimed responsibility for the attack. The group obtained explosive belts from Saudi Arabia, Press TV has learned.

    An official from the Iranian Red Crescent Society, Mahmoud Mozaffar, said over 50 people have also been injured in the attack. At least 13 of those wounded are in critical condition.

  2. Don Hawkins said on December 15th, 2010 at 1:14pm #

    A stiff challenge? No doubt, not least because the cuts that countries have pledged so far fall well short of limiting future temperature rise to 2 C above pre-industrial levels. Thus, future cuts will either have to be significantly larger or humanity will have to endure even higher temperatures and the stronger impacts they unleash-not a smart move. For years, a 2 C rise has been seen as a relatively safe increase, but that is no longer so. A landmark study the British Royal Society released on the eve of the Cancún conference found that the latest scientific assessments project “a significant increase in the severity of some impacts for a 2 C temperature rise.” As a result, 2 C “now represents a threshold, not between acceptable and dangerous climate change, but between dangerous and ‘extremely dangerous’ climate change.” In short, our civilization is already locked in to a very perilous future, and governments will have to go well beyond what is “politically realistic” if we are to avoid utter catastrophe. Like the 21-year-old from Lebanon told the Cancún delegates, we shouldn’t have waited so long to get started. CBS

    We had better stand up now as War is one very big part of dangerous and ‘extremely dangerous’ climate change but we all know that don’t we.

  3. Don Hawkins said on December 15th, 2010 at 2:10pm #

    War and as Yemen will probably be the first Country to run out of water well that general area is in a bit of trouble how long the next five years will tell the story and in ten years right in our face. Here in the States many probably think heck we are different wrong California, the great planes drought and the Northeast flooding along with very hard winters. As that on time delivery is not what it used to be might we see a little war here in the States from our own government on we the people. I guess the clowns we see on TV think they will be ok some maybe. I watched a few clowns on c-span today called the Senate yes they passed the tax bill. Say they didn’t extend the tax cut’s on the wealthy would that help with this little problem well no. Much harder choices are needed and just what are the chances we can tax carbon return the tax back to the people or the big one slow growth if we wish to survive. So far the thinking is all of the above oh well look’s good on paper. I say stand up and yes I know how do you do that in this controlled World where ignorance is strength. My last comment and the article from CBS as we hear it see it and then told to go shopping the last few years we see the weather just here in the States and how many 100 year storms was that and yet much talk and Wall Street get’s record bonus’s this year tax cut’s for the wealthy and buy gold. You have to admit it’s a tad bit crazy. Just on the off chance what we see and hear on TV new’s and read on the web is now 100% bullshit. La La La La. One way to go.

  4. Deadbeat said on December 15th, 2010 at 4:29pm #

    Save your answers for the children of Fallujah. I’m sure they’re wondering why the fuck we all choose to remain silent and inactive.

    Sorry Mickey I don’t buy your “we” nonsense. There was an initiative in 2003 called the “anti-war” movement and the pseudo-Left has to bear some of the responsibility for the sabotaging of this movement especially since the reasons why the U.S. is in Iraq really about advancing Zionist goals.

    You can lay blame on the “corporations” and military all you want but the oil “corps” didn’t want any war and the military is on record for its reluctance. There were other drivers Mickey — the ones YOU choose to IGNORE.

  5. hayate said on December 15th, 2010 at 11:20pm #

    Deadbeat

    Mickey was one of those who chose to play along with the cia/mossad “green” “color revolution” against Iran. Before then, I kinda liked his chest beating. The propaganda around that series of war crimes exposed a lot of zionist facilitators.

  6. Deadbeat said on December 15th, 2010 at 11:37pm #

    hayate writes …

    The propaganda around that series of war crimes exposed a lot of zionist facilitators.

    What pisses me off is the way these Zionist facilitators love to be the first to point the finger of blame not to themselves but to “all” of “us”. F’k em!

  7. mary said on December 16th, 2010 at 1:26am #

    148 states call for transparency over depleted uranium use in UN vote

    148 states have supported a United Nations General Assembly resolution calling on state users of depleted uranium weapons to reveal where the weapons have been fired when asked to do so by affected countries.

    The resolution was passed by a huge majority… but guess who voted against?

    Yes, you got it. UK, US, Israel and France.

    Abstentions by Australia, Canada, Denmark and Sweden amongst others. The Russian Federation also abstained, while China declined to vote.

    { http://www.bandepleteduranium.org/en/a/364.html}

  8. John Andrews said on December 16th, 2010 at 2:42am #

    Deadbeat,

    You write:
    ” the oil “corps” didn’t want any war and the military is on record for its reluctance.”

    Are you serious?

  9. Don Hawkins said on December 16th, 2010 at 3:19am #

    Obama is telling members of Congress that failure to pass the tax-cut legislation could result in the end of his presidency, Rep. Peter DeFazio (Ore.) said.

    “The White House is putting on tremendous pressure, making phone calls, the president is making phone calls saying this is the end of his presidency if he doesn’t get this bad deal,” he told CNN’s Eliot Spitzer. the hill
    Maybe the House can find some courage draw that line enough is enough and for Obama well go golfing dude we need an independent to run for President from the 2011 party it’s new who might be good? Good question someone who’s advisors would be James Hansen, Hawking, Hawking well you have to admit somewhat good at thinking outside the box, how about Gore well old Gore I think still want’s cap and trade a joke on the human race sorry Al no cigar. You get the idea and how do you start a third party and fast. Sure does seem to be a lot of crying these day’s on TV Beck did it again last night and I think he is probably the official preacher man for the darkside now. Then of course this John A. Boehner person seems to be giving it a try oh yes all the World’s a stage and these people must like B movies. After Cain had murdered his brother Abel, God asked him where his brother was. Cain answered, “I know not; am I my brother’s keeper?” I watched the History Channel last night interesting stuff and didn’t know how over the year’s this whole I know not; am I my brother’s keeper has been used by the darkside and each time it didn’t work out well. It appears it’s making a come back for one more try and just might be the last. Where’s your brother Obama, Murdoch, Forbes, McConnell, Hatch, Boehner and on and on you all know not is it oh you know all right ever hear of the land of Nod.

    The Land of Nod (Hebrew: eretz-Nod‎, ארץ נוד) is a place in the Book of Genesis of the Hebrew Bible, located “on the east of Eden” (qidmet-‘Eden), to which Cain chose to flee after murdering his brother Abel. According to Genesis 4:16 Wiki

    2011 party and let’s see if we can get the powers that be now walking into the land of nod heck maybe they will head for Egypt. Non violent and it will take a lot of us. But remember;

    “You will know (the good from the bad) when you are calm, at peace. Passive. Use the Force for knowledge and defense, never for attack. ”

    Cry me a river these people are pathetic.

  10. Deadbeat said on December 16th, 2010 at 3:55am #

    John Andrews writes …

    Deadbeat,

    You write:
    ” the oil “corps” didn’t want any war and the military is on record for its reluctance.”

    Are you serious?

    Are you attempting at asking me a question or do you have proof (NOT CONJECTURE) to back up your disbelief.

  11. Deadbeat said on December 16th, 2010 at 3:56am #

    John Andrews writes …

    Deadbeat,

    You write:
    ” the oil “corps” didn’t want any war and the military is on record for its reluctance.”

    Are you serious?

    Are you attempting at asking me a question or do you have proof (NOT CONJECTURE) to back up your disbelief.

  12. Don Hawkins said on December 16th, 2010 at 4:01am #

    Life is the keyword. To the best of our knowledge, Earth is the only planet in the Solar System that supports life. Now the Galaxy that maybe a different question.
    Business Friendly is it, Really

    War what is it good for absolutely nothing.

  13. John Andrews said on December 16th, 2010 at 4:36am #

    Deadbeat,

    Do you?

  14. Deadbeat said on December 16th, 2010 at 5:54am #

    @ John Andrews

    Of course. There are numerous articles by James Petras that you can find right here on this site that backs up my position. His articles are well footnoted and the references are verifiable. Much of the evidence regarding the oil company position comes from mainstream sources such as the Economist. The reluctance of the military to go to war on Iraq is also well document and enough former military brass has since come forward.

    So John what source to you have to confirm your disbelief? Or are you going to merely point us to the same old pseudo-Left rhetoricians and spin-misters.

  15. John Andrews said on December 16th, 2010 at 7:07am #

    Deadbeat,

    So the articles that you happen to agree with are evidence, and the articles that I agree with are “conjecture” and “pseudo-left rhetoric”?

    You will know of course that much of the evidence provided by the “pseudo-left” comes from journalists with considerable front-line experience such as John Pilger and Robert Fisk; but that’s almost irrelevant to the point you raised: that the military were “reluctant” to go to war in Iraq; because ordinary common sense screams out that that is just ridiculous. The military live and breath for war. It is their food and drink. The very last thing the generals want is a peaceful world. If they were so reluctant for war why were so many civilians slaughtered in Iraq? How could WikiLeaks supply us with countless videoclips of US gunships gunning down unarmed civilians if their whooping murderers were so “reluctant” to go to war?

    And the oil companies didn’t war war?

    Let me see now. If I was an oil company CEO and I’m given the choice between helping myself to the biggest oil reserves on the planet or leaving those reserves in the hands of the people who rightfully own them, and who will compete with me in the market place, what should I do? Hmmm tough one.

  16. Hue Longer said on December 16th, 2010 at 7:51am #

    I’ve read several Petras articles where he doesn’t mention Zionism once…should we use caps against him when he doesn’t?

  17. Rehmat said on December 16th, 2010 at 8:08am #

    Hue Longer – you’re right. Professor James Petras is not possessed with the “Zionism” as Israeli Hasbara fools want us to believe. He criticizes both Jewish and Christian Zionists.

    For example, in 2006, he was the first to report that it was the Ukrainian Zionist Jewish editor Flemming Rose, editor of Danish daily Jyllands-Posten behind those insulting cartoons of the Prophet Muhammad (pbuh). Check-out James’ personal website.

  18. hayate said on December 16th, 2010 at 11:31am #

    A War for Israel

    Jeffrey Blankfort

    http://www.leftcurve.org/LC28WebPages/WarForIsrael.html

    Delves into great detail on the Jewish zionist influence in starting the 2003 Iraq war as well as the first one israeli had their american colony fight against Iraq.

  19. hayate said on December 16th, 2010 at 11:32am #

    A War for Israel

    Jeffrey Blankfort

    [http://www.leftcurve.org/LC28WebPages/WarForIsrael.html]

    Delves into great detail on the Jewish zionist influence in starting the 2003 Iraq war as well as the first one israeli had their american colony fight against Iraq.

  20. shabnam said on December 16th, 2010 at 12:10pm #

    War on Iraq: NOT Oil But Israel:

    {The most popular argument of the critics of the Iraq war has been that the United States went to war for oil — that is, that the war had nothing to do with combating terrorism. Writing in the Christian Science Monitor before the war, Brendan O’Neill reported that “for many in the antiwar movement, the idea that the Bushies’ plan to invade the Gulf to get their greasy hands on more oil has become an article of faith, an unquestionable truth repeated like a mantra.” Among those believers is America’s preeminent left-wing war critic, Noam Chomsky: “Of course it was Iraq’s energy resources. It’s not even a question. Iraq’s one of the major oil producers in the world. It has the second largest reserves and it’s right in the heart of the Gulf’s oil-producing region, which U.S. intelligence predicts is going to be two thirds of world resources in coming years.”
    That goes against what I regard as the fundamental reason for the war: the war was led by neoconservatives and fought in the interests of Israel, at least as Likudniks envision Israel’s interests. It is all well-documented, though the neocons imply that Israeli interests coincide with those of the United States. But as I point out in my article on the subject — and this fact is on the public record, too — the original idea for the war was conceived in Israel. Moreover, the war achieved the goal hoped for by the Likudniks — destabilization of the Middle East.}

    {http://www.thornwalker.com/ditch/snieg_oilwar.htm}

    WAR ON IRAQ – CONCEIVED IN ISRAEL by Professor Stephen J. Sniegoski

    {http://www.currentconcerns.ch/archive/20030102.php}

  21. Don Hawkins said on December 16th, 2010 at 12:32pm #

    Forgive them, for they know not what they do………………

  22. Don Hawkins said on December 16th, 2010 at 4:23pm #

    The Senate is now going to read the spending bill all of it as we all go down the drain in not such slow motion. The House is divided tonight let’s see how about an open letter to the President of the United States?

    Mr. President,

    More of us now know what’s coming down the track and many more will know soon. We are aware that you must also know this and yet we still hear from you the same old thing from that book you know the old play book. We are out of time and you have some very good information so you must know this I mean if we can find out the truth with a little digging come on now you do get those daily briefings and all that well many of us get daily briefings with some digging. Don’t you think we need to try and get people on the same page and everything should be made as simple as possible but not simpler so the truth and knowledge not illusion of knowledge but the real thing could be helpful. Granted to do this that I call the people of Earth speech has never been done and yes if we look back on history a few times could have helped but this time in old twenty ten we don’t survive without it. So “My fellow Americans people of people of Earth ………………….”

  23. Deadbeat said on December 16th, 2010 at 9:54pm #

    Hue Longer writes …

    I’ve read several Petras articles where he doesn’t mention Zionism once…should we use caps against him when he doesn’t?

    No Hue that would be ridiculous. It makes sense to observe, consider and analyze the context of his topic and writings. When it comes to the War on Iraq, Petras has been a leading voice in explaining the role, power and influence of Zionism on Middle East policy and the War on Iraq.

    That’s information that require CAPS as it is the kind of information that you’d like to ridicule.

  24. Deadbeat said on December 16th, 2010 at 10:01pm #

    John Andrews writes …

    Let me see now. If I was an oil company CEO and I’m given the choice between helping myself to the biggest oil reserves on the planet or leaving those reserves in the hands of the people who rightfully own them, and who will compete with me in the market place, what should I do? Hmmm tough one.

    The answer is quite the opposite. You’d need GOOD relationships in order to EXTRACT the oil and to market it. This isn’t the early 20th Century. That kind of imperialism pretty much ended by the 1960’s. As a Capitalist you want stable markets and that is why the oil companies lobbied against the war. Do your research. There is plenty of information on this site where you find information to better inform yourself.

  25. John Andrews said on December 17th, 2010 at 12:41am #

    Deadbeat,

    You seem to have lost the plot altogether now.

    This conversation began with your assertion that armies and oil companies don’t like war. Now you’re suggesting that because this is not the beginning of twentieth century the rules of empire no longer apply. Next you’ll be telling us that presidents and prime ministers are actually good and honest chaps.

    I would suggest that it isn’t me that needs to do a little research.

  26. Deadbeat said on December 17th, 2010 at 1:33am #

    John Andrews writes …

    This conversation began with your assertion that armies and oil companies don’t like war.

    That’s incorrect. This conversation began with the following with you taking my remarks to Mickey Z OUT OF CONTEXT.

    Here’s what I wrote to Mickey Z …

    Sorry Mickey I don’t buy your “we” nonsense. There was an initiative in 2003 called the “anti-war” movement and the pseudo-Left has to bear some of the responsibility for the sabotaging of this movement especially since the reasons why the U.S. is in Iraq really about advancing Zionist goals.

    You can lay blame on the “corporations” and military all you want but the oil “corps” didn’t want any war [on Iraq] and the military is on record for its reluctance. There were other drivers Mickey — the ones YOU choose to IGNORE.

    Clearly did chose to take my remark of the context of the Iraq War since Mickey Z article was about blaming the “corporation” and all American Citizens for the War on Iraq which is his way of SHIFTING the focus and responsibility away from Zionism.

    Now you’re suggesting that because this is not the beginning of twentieth century the rules of empire no longer apply.

    That your immature interpretation. “Empires” and “rules” as you call it do change and alters its behavior over time. What you are suggesting is that they never alter their behavior and strategies. The politcal economy of the world today is very different from the turn of the 20th Century. In fact the Soviet Union which existed for much of the 20th Century no longer exist. Zionism today has much greater influence on the U.S. political economy today which practically had little to no influence at the turn of 20th Century. The U.S. became a net debtor nation in the 1980’s and taxes 30 years ago was much more progressive than it is today.

    China is now competing with the U.S. economically and could bearly feed itself at the start of the 20th Century. Colonialism which still existed at the start of the 1900 changed into neo-Colonialism after World War II. Computers and high-speed networks have helped to manage and integrate markets that were inconceivable throughout much of the 20th Century.

    Therefore Mr. Andrews your premise is incorrect about “Empires” as well as the fact that “Empires” don’t last forever. Therefore as conditions changes so do “empires” and its “rules”.

    Next you’ll be telling us that presidents and prime ministers are actually good and honest chaps.

    And perhaps you’ll still be telling us that the War on Iraq was “for oil”.

  27. mary said on December 17th, 2010 at 2:09am #

    The fascists are in the ascendancy. How shameful that this happened in the ‘land of the free’. These protests and arrests were not reported in the British MSM. The emphasis has been on Assange, now out on bail, and the aftermath of the student protests where the thuggish police cracked skulls and dragged a disabled protester from his wheelchair and threw him on the ground.

    Ellsberg, McGovern, Hedges arrested outside White House

    {http://www.rawstory.com/rs/2010/12/135-antiwar-protesters-arrested-white-house/}

    At the same time the president was speaking, dozens of protesters, organized by Veterans for Peace, lined up along the White House fence in an act of civil disobenience. Many chained or tied themselves to the fence and chanted “End, end, end the occupation. Troops out now!”

    Police spent several hours arresting demonstrators, taking photos of each one before placing them into vans.

    Notable participants risking arrest included Daniel Ellsberg, who leaked the Pentagon Papers, retired 27-year CIA analyst Ray McGovern, FBI whistleblower Colleen Rowley, and Pulitzer-winning former New York Times war correspondent Chris Hedges.

    Raw Story was able to confirm the arrests of Ellsberg, McGovern, Rowley and Hedges, along with Veterans for Peace members Elliott Adams, Mike Ferner, Mike Hearington and Leah Bolger.

    Protesters began gathering Wednesday night at St. Stephen’s Church in Washington, DC. The rally began Thursday at 10 a.m. in Lafayette Park. Several speeches were given on the importance of civil resistance before demonstrators marched single-file to the White House

  28. mary said on December 17th, 2010 at 2:11am #

    Listen to the ex UK ambassador to Afghanistan on

  29. mary said on December 17th, 2010 at 2:20am #

    (Sorry about my cold and clumsy fingers)

    Listen to the ex UK ambassador to Afghanistan on Radio 4 Today speaking about Obama ‘marking his own homework’. He says that the situation is serious and that no political plan has been put in place. It is obvious that the puppet wearing ‘blackface’ is in the hands of the military, the conglomerates who supply the weapons and equipment and those others who are profiting from the spilt blood of the members of the ‘coalition of the willing’ and its victims.

    {http://news.bbc.co.uk/today/hi/today/newsid_9297000/9297053.stm}

    President Obama says the US has made enough progress in Afghanistan to start withdrawing its soldiers next July. Former UK ambassador in Kabul, Sir Sherard Cowper-Coles, analyses the current situation in the country.

  30. Don Hawkins said on December 17th, 2010 at 3:26am #

    WASHINGTON (AP) — A massive bipartisan tax package preventing a big New Year’s Day tax hike for millions of Americans is on its way to President Barack Obama for his signature.

    The measure would extend tax cuts for families at every income level, renew jobless benefits for the long-term unemployed and enact a new one-year cut in Social Security taxes that would benefit nearly every worker who earns a wage.

    In a remarkable show of bipartisanship, the House gave final approval to the measure just before midnight Thursday, overcoming an attempt by rebellious Democrats who wanted to impose a higher estate tax than the one Obama agreed to. The vote was 277-148, with each party contributing an almost identical number of votes in favor (the Democrats, 139 and the Republicans, 138).

    Rebellious Democrats “I know not; am I my brother’s keeper?” Yes jobless benefits and now people will be ABLE to pay there rent maybe the electric bill and heck there TV will still work. Because very soon the 1 to 3% will take that extra cash and give it to the elected representatives and a few group’s and TV stations to tell us all the truth. This is wonderful can hardly wait to see how it play’s out. I watched the Senate and the House the last few day’s and almost to the person the Republicans reminded me of agent Smith in the movie the matrix I mean central casting could not do a better job. This whole class warfare part has to stop not good for the Country. How does that song go I see life from both sides now but when making any plans for the future I wonder how this might play out.

    Traditionally the winter rains start in late October. If the dry spell stretches through December, the staple wheat and lentil crops and their livelihood are a write-off for another consecutive year.

    Swathes of Syria, Turkey, Iraq, Jordan, Lebanon, Israel and the Palestinian territories have all been hit by a devastating drought this fall.

    Although a ferocious storm hit the region this past weekend, with snow and rain lashing Syria, farmers remember last year’s winter season, which started well. Then the rains stopped abruptly and extreme weather and diseases like yellow rust set in and decimated the wheat.

    “We pray for rain and a good income,” says 22 year-old Issa Sheikh, who along with his brother struggles to cultivate their family’s land. “Last year the season was very bad. The costs for fertilizer and seeds were high, and we had no yield. We now depend on work in the cities, and have taken loans from friends and the bank.”
    Many agricultural experts fault climate change as the primary driving factor. “This year’s November was a very strange November,” says Mahmoud Solh, head of the International Centre for Agricultural Research in the Dry Areas (ICARDA), based near the northern city of Aleppo. “There is a trend in temperature, no doubt about it. You feel there has been an up and down fluctuation in rainfall and temperature, but nothing like what we are facing now.”

    But most of his friends are working in factories or in Lebanon, he says. “The land cannot feed the families, everyone has to go look for another job.” (END) IPS
    But nothing like what we are facing now well heck here in the States one more ball game one more concert one more flat screen TV and on and on into the Cosmos. I have to admit living in this controlled World is strange sort of because if you look you can find the truth and for me the question is for how much longer will we be ABLE to look.

  31. mary said on December 17th, 2010 at 6:39am #

    This is from the disabled protester, Jody McIntyre, who has cerebral palsy. He was dragged out of his wheelchair, thrown on the ground and tackled by police at the protests in London last Thursday against the rises in tuition fees for university students. Afterwards he was subjected to a very aggressive BBC interview which has generated over 1,060 complaints on a BBC Editor’s blog belonging to Kevin Bakhurst, the controller of BBC News.

    {http://blogs.independent.co.uk/2010/12/17/%E2%80%98supervision%E2%80%99-is-not-enough-the-ipcc-must-handle-this-investigation-themselves/}

    The IPCC is the Independent Police Complaints Commission, a front organisation for receiving and then burying complaints against the police. There is no justice for the likes of Ian Tomlinson, an innocent passer by killed by police at the G20 protest in London in 2009 and Blair Peach some decades earlier.

    Jody is an activist and campaigner, has visited Latin America and has lived in the West Bank and participated in protests against the wall in B’ilin. An amazing young man whose disability has not held him back in any way and humbling to those of us who are able bodied.

    The BBC blog is here and you can see the interview and what people are saying about it.
    {http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/theeditors/2010/12/interview_with_jody_mcintyre.html}

  32. bozh said on December 17th, 2010 at 8:51am #

    there is Left in u.s! there is a socialist party in u.s. the problem appears that the ‘Left’ on this site and many others spurn the socialist party.

    the issue shld not be what petras, et al, said; the issue shld be egalitarianism.
    clearly no ‘jew’ is egalitarian.
    if s/he wld be, the first s/he’d have to do to please me is to get rid of hisher ‘jewishness’. tnx

  33. bozh said on December 17th, 2010 at 9:22am #

    hey, folks,
    the assumption that a movement comprising, say, 1-30% 0f u.s pop, cld prevent invasion of iraq, is only a conclusion.
    no protest to date had been able even to delay an u.s war let alone prevent, or stop once underway.

    the pseudoleft on this site chooses to ignore this fact. tnx

  34. Deadbeat said on December 17th, 2010 at 7:00pm #

    Bozh writes …

    the issue shld not be what petras, et al, said; the issue shld be egalitarianism. clearly no ‘jew’ is egalitarian. if s/he wld be, the first s/he’d have to do to please me is to get rid of hisher ‘jewishness’. tnx

    The issue is NOT what petras says. The issue is what the dominate voices that represents the “Left” says. They said that the war was “for oil” as a means to deceive activist. Poor information makes for poor analysis and strategy that is designed to prevent any movement for egalitarianism. Thus there are special interests who see that having poor information and a disrupted, confused and discombobulated left works to their advantage.

  35. Deadbeat said on December 17th, 2010 at 7:03pm #

    Bozh writes …

    hey, folks, the assumption that a movement comprising, say, 1-30% 0f u.s pop, cld prevent invasion of iraq, is only a conclusion. no protest to date had been able even to delay an u.s war let alone prevent, or stop once underway.

    It would appear that the conclusion of your comment is that there should be no protests, no civil disobedience and no resistance.

  36. mary said on December 18th, 2010 at 5:43am #

    In a nutshell – We don’t give a toss what you think, we carry on with the killing and maiming regardless – Gates

    Thu Dec 16, 12:39 pm ET
    WASHINGTON – Defense Secretary Robert Gates says the U.S. can’t let public opinion sway its commitment to Afghanistan.

    Gates says it’s the responsibility of leaders to focus on the public interest and the long-term implications of U.S. involvement in the region.

    Secretary of State Hillary Clinton urged Americans to view the country’s effort in Afghanistan as aimed at protecting their families and their future.

    Gates and Clinton spoke Thursday at the White House following President Barack Obama’s remarks on a newly finished classified report on the Afghan war.

    ~~~

    Ref Hill the Shill’s revolting comment on ‘protecting families’, 60 people were killed by drones yesterday on the Khyber border.

    Scrores die as drones renew attack on Pakistan’s Khyber
    {http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-south-asia-12015959}

  37. mary said on December 23rd, 2010 at 1:36am #

    Hollywood and the War Machine

    Chris Hedges, Michael Moore and Oliver Stone

    War is hell, but for Hollywood it has been a Godsend, providing the perfect dramatic setting against which courageous heroes win the hearts and minds of the movie going public.

    Guests
    Oliver Stone, eight times Academy Award-winning filmmaker
    Michael Moore, Academy Award-winning filmmaker
    Christopher Hedges, author and former Middle East bureau chief, New York Times

    The Pentagon recognises the power of these celluloid dreams and encourages Hollywood to create heroic myths; to rewrite history to suit its own strategy and as a recruiting tool to provide a steady flow of willing young patriots for its wars.

    What does Hollywood get out of this ‘deal with the devil’? Access to billions of dollars worth of military kit, from helicopters to aircraft carries, enabling filmmakers to make bigger and more spectacular battle scenes, which in turn generate more box office revenue. Providing they accept the Pentagon’s advice, even toe the party line and show the US military in a positive light.

    So is it a case of art imitating life, or a sinister force using art to influence life and death – and the public perception of both?

    Empire will examine Hollywood, the Pentagon, and war.

    This episode of Empire can be seen from Wednesday, December 22 at the follwing times GMT: Wednesday: 1900; Thursday: 1400; Friday: 0300; Saturday: 1900.

    {http://english.aljazeera.net/programmes/empire/2010/12/2010121681345363793.html}

  38. Max Shields said on December 23rd, 2010 at 9:04am #

    Mary,

    So Chris Hedges who is a writer who just lost his job at NYT for protesting war outside the WH, encourages the war machine? Please clarify.

    We are living in anxious times that sometimes lets our inaction (typing away on DV-like blogs) and endless hours of time to dribble and wander into zones of irreality. Whether these 3 characters are what you seem to be saying or not is really unimportant. If people on DV were actively involved in DOING something than this would be trite gossip (which it is).

    But, then again, I may be misreading your post.

  39. mary said on December 23rd, 2010 at 10:39am #

    Max – I was merely copying the link to the video and the copy beneath.

    Chris Hedges was thrown out of the NYTimes when he denounced Bush’s war on Iraq.

    The other day he was arrested outside the White House when protesting against the Afghanistan war with 500 others.

    He wrote ‘ Bitter Memories of War on the Way to Jail’
    truthdig.com/report/item/bitter_memories_of_war_on_the_way_to_jail_20101220/

    …..The solemnity of that funerary march, the hush, was the hardest and most moving part of Thursday’s protest against the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. It unwound the bitter memories and images of war I keep wrapped in the thick cotton wool of forgetfulness. I was transported in that short walk to places I do not like to go. Strange and vivid flashes swept over me—the young soldier in El Salvador who had been shot through the back of the head and was, as I crouched next to him, slowly curling up in a fetal position to die; the mutilated corpses of Kosovar Albanians in the back of a flatbed truck; the screams of a woman, her entrails spilling out of her gaping wounds, on the cobblestones of a Sarajevo street. My experience was not unique……

    …..War perverts and destroys you. It pushes you closer and closer to your own annihilation—spiritual, emotional and, finally, physical. It destroys the continuity of life, tearing apart all systems, economic, social, environmental and political, that sustain us as human beings. War is necrophilia. The essence of war is death. War is a state of almost pure sin with its goals of hatred and destruction. It is organized sadism. War fosters alienation and leads inevitably to nihilism. It is a turning away from the sanctity of life.

    And yet the mythic narratives about war perpetuate the allure of power and violence. They perpetuate the seductiveness of the godlike force that comes with the license to kill with impunity. All images and narratives about war disseminated by the state, the press, religious institutions, schools and the entertainment industry are gross and distorted lies. The clash between the fabricated myth about war and the truth about war leaves those of us who return from war alienated, angry and often unable to communicate. We can’t find the words to describe war’s reality. It is as if the wider culture sucked the words out from us and left us to sputter incoherencies. How can you speak meaningfully about organized murder? Anything you say is gibberish…..

    He is a fine writer and speaker and a good man. Fellow Americans should heed what he says.

  40. bozh said on December 23rd, 2010 at 11:34am #

    DB,
    i haven’t seen ur comment about value of protesting till today and about which i wrote many times.

    yes, i have concluded that the only valid or potent protest is a ballot cast. in u.s, even this may be to little too late. hopefully not.
    i evaluate protesting as complaining and we,v had that thruout ages and look where we are!

    stop complaining to mafia. do pose a threat to it! fail or not fail! tnx

  41. Deadbeat said on December 23rd, 2010 at 11:48am #

    stop complaining to mafia. do pose a threat to it! fail or not fail! tnx

    This is exactly the mindset of George W. Bush. Your pathetic bozh. Protects ARE an effective tool. Take a look at what’s going on in France. The purpose of fighting the ruling class starts with a “complaint” and then it ESCALATES into resistance. The problem however today is that Zionists have done an excellent job of embedding themselves INTO these movements and for many people they don’t have a clue on how to build strong solidarity movements so that its doesn’t get corrupted and withers.

    That takes perseverance and educations. Something that you seem incapable of advocating.

  42. bozh said on December 23rd, 2010 at 1:55pm #

    i guess if i wld ask alexander of macedon and sargon of akkad if they were zionists or land robbers, they’d say, NO, no way! we are bringing peace, justice, etc., to peoples we conquer. tnx